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Kinda Weird: Coworker Uses White Hand Emojis Instead of Default Yellow

Navigating a modern office can be tough, especially with so many social pitfalls waiting to be sprung. Our workspace normally keeps things pretty laid back, but when the new intern used the white hand thumbs up emoji to confirm our happy hour plans everyone got pretty uncomfortable.

That’s weird, right? Everyone knows the default is yellow. No one is sitting there holding their thumb in and waiting unless they’re deliberately trying to communicate something, right?

He even sent a fucking white muscle arm emoji to the finance specialist after they collaborated on taking down a super tough project. She got weirded out and showed me. I’ve never even seen that emoji before. It was unsettling.

He’s otherwise engaging and thoughtful at first glance. He brought in a homemade casserole for our social media coordinator after she took a PTO day for her dog’s surgery, that doesn’t seem like something a racist would do! I just can’t shake the feeling that something is off though. These alt-right dorks are really good at hiding in plain sight.

We tried to bring it up to our project lead but he’s said over and over we have nothing to worry about. He told us the intern got his business degree from Dartmouth and that he’s from Portland, which obviously means he can’t be racist. He claims that “doing something weird on the phone” doesn’t make him a Nazi, but his boomer ass didn’t even know you could change the skin colors on emojis until we told him!

We tried confronting him about it but he told us he “didn’t know what we were talking about” and that “my phone just goes to that version”, which we all knew was total bullshit.

I wish I could ask a person of color whether or not this behavior is racist dog whistling, but all of my coworkers are white.